Currently Browsing: Reviews: U-W

‘United Skates’ shows historical influence of hobby

Directed, written and produced by Dyana Winkler and Tina Brown, United Skates is a eye-opening documentary that explores a seemingly cult hobby and its influence both historically and musically. (BV: 4.5/5) Review by Intern Beatrice Viri Opening with factoids about how roller rinks are surprisingly an influential breeding ground for talent, United Skates explores how […]

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WRITE WHEN YOU GET WORK (2018): Review by FF2 Media

From IMDb: Ruth Duffy is getting by on an assistant’s salary at a pricey school for girls in Manhattan, managing to move beyond the trouble and loss of her teenage years. Jonny Collins is working local jobs near the Throgs Neck Bridge in the Bronx. When they cross paths after years apart, Jonny is as consumed […]

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WIDOWS take on the job

In writer Gillian Flynn’s latest film Widows, she tells a story of four widows from very different backgrounds in contemporary Chicago. Widows allows women, and women of ethnic minorities, to take power and control in an almost all male action story. (SYJ: 3/5) Review by FF2 Media Intern Sophia Jin   Based in a modern […]

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‘Viper Club’ is intimate, informative, and intensely anxiety inducing

Written and directed by Maryam Keshavarz, Viper Club is an intimate look into the life of Helen (Susan Sarandon), a mother struggling to stay positive while waiting for news of her son’s safety in the Middle East. Keshavarz manages to keep the mundanity of life engaging as the anxiety bubbles underneath Helen’s calm facade. Edie Falco and Matt Bomer co-star as members of The Viper Club, an organization determined to bring journalists home safely, no matter the cost. Keshavarz crafts a well-thought-out narrative that depicts the complexity of global policy, journalism, and grief. (MTP: 4.5/5)

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‘Weed the People’ uncovers myths about cannabis

In director Abby Epstein’s documentary Weed the People, she brings an already contentious topic to light—should medicinal cannabis be legalized? It’s fascinating how this age-old plant can still create such controversy in the modern day. (SYJ: 4.5/5) Review by FF2 Media Intern Sophia Y. Jin One of the most upsetting images known to man is the […]

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THE WALDHEIM WALTZ (2018): Review by FF2 Media

From IMDb: A biographical drama film about Kurt Josef Waldheim, former UN Secretary General and the controversy of his participation and role in the Nazi regime during WWII. The Waldheim Waltz opens 10/19 in NYC. FF2 review coming soon!

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‘What They Had’ is a Masterful Family Drama

Created by first-time writer and director Elizabeth Chomko, What They Had is a heart-wrenching family drama about the family of a woman with Alzheimer’s. With a raw and emotional storyline portrayed by excellent actors, What they Had is certainly a successful first film for Chomko. (JRL: 4 / 5) ‘What They Had’ is a Masterful Family […]

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WILDLIFE (2018): Review by FF2 Media

Paul Dano’s superb directorial debut is Wildlife, a portrait of a small town American family struggling to stay whole amidst economic hardship and personal turmoils. Beautifully and compassionately made, it is an affecting story of familial love. (HRM 5/5) Review by FF2 Intern Hannah Mayo Fourteen-year-old Joe (Ed Oxenbould) just moved with his parents to […]

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San Francisco journalist takes on alien: ‘Venom’

Kelly Marcel co-writes superhero flick Venom with Jeff Pinkner and Scott Rosenberg. Directed by Ruben Fleischer, the film hails actors Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, and Riz Ahmed. A troubled journalist’s life becomes entangled with a parasite-like alien, “Venom”. The two must act as one, as they take on a dangerous organization threatening the lives of […]

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WARNING SHOT (2018): Review by Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

In Warning Shot, writer Breanne Mattson delivers a script even more poorly done than the shoddy craftsmanship on the production. A plot to steal water rights from a young single mother and her child becomes a hostage situation that devolves into a bizarre series of revelations before an action-packed ending leads to a fake-ironic conclusion. […]

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In the canon of World War II films, ‘Where Hands Touch’ is one to skip

Review of Where Hands Touch by Eliana Levenson While Amma Asante’s desire to tell a story of a group whose struggle is often lost in the atrocities of Nazi Germany isn’t inherently a bad thing, Where Hands Touch delivers an incredibly tone-deaf narrative that fails in almost every way. (EML: 2/5) Review by FF2 Associate […]

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‘The Wife’ is an intricate study of marriage

Björn Runge’s The Wife is a superb study character study, saturated in excellent performances and beautiful filmmaking. Feminist at the core, it evolves to a complex and deeply satisfying commentary on marriage, family, art and career. (HRM: 5/5) Review by FF2 Intern Hannah Mayo “Joan” (Glenn Close) and “Joe” (Jonathan Price) Castleman have been married […]

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‘A Whale of a Tale’ Explores the Controversial Whaling Industry of Taiji, Japan

Directed by Megumi Sasaki, ‘A Whale of a Tale’ follows an American journalist as he explores the traditions and culture of the whaling industry in Taiji, Japan, a town that has become a site for protest and debate due to its whaling,which American activists have deemed inhumane. (JRL: 4/5) ‘A Whale of a Tale’ Explores […]

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‘What Will People Say’ is an excellent depiction of cultural conflict

What Will People Say (written and directed by Iram Haq) beautifully and tragically captures the struggle of a Pakistani family’s attempts to cling to traditional culture while reaching for a better life in Norway. (DLH: 5/5) Review by FF2 Intern Dayna Hagewood What Will People Say begins appropriately tense and fast-paced, as Nisha (Maria Mozhdah) — […]

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‘Woman Walks Ahead’ and takes a backseat in this 1800s biopic

Directed by Susanna White and written by Steven Knight, Woman Walks Ahead is a historically inspired biopic about widowed painter Catherine Weldon’s attempts to capture Sitting Bull on canvas in the midst of the Sioux fighting for their land. (DLH: 3/5) Review by FF2 Intern Dayna Hagewood At the start of the film, Catherine Weldon (Jessica […]

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‘The Valley’ sends timely, solemn message about suicide

Writer/director Saila Kariat’s debut feature is a beautifully solemn and informative film about suicide, telling the story of a wealthy Indian American family residing in Silicon Valley as they cope with the loss of their young daughter. (SAT: 5/5)

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‘Westwood’ is a love letter to the iconic designer’s audacity and individualistic style

In this documentary, director Lorna Tucker preserves the integrity of Vivienne Westwood both the person and the brand by telling the story that Westwood herself wants told, keeping the focus on the designer’s artistic and political visions as well as her fierce energy. (RMM: 4.5/5)

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WHAT HAUNTS US (2018): Review by Elly Levenson

Director Paige Goldberg Tolmach provides a clear overview of the case that rattled her alma-mater, Porter-Gaud, but fails to add anything new to the twenty-year-old narrative or deliver on promises of an examination of the psychological toll the case has had on the alumni and community. (EML: 3.5/5)

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WHERE IS KYRA? (2017): Review by Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

Writer Darci Picoult gives us a well plotted but fairly ridiculous film about a financially desperate young woman who cooks up a scheme to keep collecting her dead mother’s pension checks. The ending also fails to deliver a conclusion satisfying enough for the build-up, leaving the viewer wondering why the film is over so abruptly. […]

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WEREWOLF (2016): Review by Amelie Lasker

The debut film from writer and director Ashley McKenzie, Werewolf is the story of “Nessa” (Bhreagh MacNeil) and “Blaise” (Andrew Gillis), who are trying to get through a methadone program and to escape their small town. The film is at many times hard to watch, but its nuanced character development makes it a story worth telling. (AEL: 4.5/5)

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WESTERN (2017): Review by Farah Elattar

Written and directed by Valeska Grisebach, Western tells the story of a group of German construction workers who take on a job in a rural part of Bulgaria near an isolated village near their construction site setting the stage for a clash of tradition and modernity between Eastern and Western Europe. (FEA 4/5)

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VAZANTE (2017): Review by Malin Jornvi

Vazante is painful to watch. Director and co-writer Daniela Thomas challenges the viewers in both subject matter and execution, but if you can stay with the long takes, presented without score and without color, a slow momentum is created that leads to an extraordinarily powerful ending. (MJJ: 3.5/5)

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WAIT FOR YOUR LAUGH (2017): Review by Roza Melkumyan

Nine decades of performance makes Rose Marie’s the longest active career in the entertainment industry. Written by Christina Tucker and Jason Wise, Wait for Your Laugh details her remarkable life in the spotlight. (RMM: 3.5/5)

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THE UNTOLD TALES OF ARMISTEAD MAUPIN (2017): Review by Lindsy Bissonnette

Director Jennifer M. Kroot dives deep into the mind and past of Armistead Maupin in this gripping and revealing documentary. The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin reveals the man behind the pen, and you won’t want to miss it. (LMB: 4.5/5)

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UNREST (2017): Review by Katusha Jin

Director Jennifer Brea, originally a PhD student at Harvard, becomes the voice of 17 million worldwide silent sufferers in her eye-opening personal documentary about Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, otherwise known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS). Unrest is a scream for help from those who have been deprived of the much-needed support from doctors and loved ones alike. (KIZJ: 5/5)

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WOODSHOCK (2017): Review by Amelie Lasker

In Woodshock, written and directed by Kate and Laura Mulleavy, Theresa deals with the recent death of her ill mother. Her grief has a darker side to it: she helped her mother in suicide using some of the very materials she sells in her day job at a dispensary. Woodshock is a quiet psychological thriller, and it creates more mysteries for us than it resolves. (AEL: 4.5/5)

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VICEROY’S HOUSE (2017): Review by Roza Melkumyan

Director and screenwriter Gurinder Chadha reimagines the term of the last Viceroy of British India who is hired in hopes of a smooth transferal of power from the British government to the Indian people. (RMM: 3.5/5)

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WHOSE STREETS? (2017): Review By Lindsy Bissonnette

Every now and then a film comes along and acts as a much needed wakeup call. As we “like” and “retweet” images and articles, the horrors of Ferguson remain a reality to the residents affected by police brutality. Whose Streets? is a documentary you won’t want to miss. Directed by Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis, […]

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WOMEN WHO KILL (2016): Review by Lindsy Bissonnette

When two ex-lovers try to remain friends, calamity ensues as their female-serial-killer podcast starts to become their reality when they think there may be a serial killer among them. Writer/director Ingrid Jungermann does triple duty by also starring as “Morgan,” who goes through every emotion while living in a reality that she’s only ever researched. […]

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LANDLINE (2017): Review by Roza Melkumyan

Director and co-writer Gillian Robespierre takes us back to 1995 with this snapshot of a family during the time of floppy disks and landline telephones. In this comedy, relationships are jeopardized when “Ali” (Abby Quinn) discovers that her father is having an affair, while “Dana” (Jenny Slate), Ali’s older sister, grows bored with her tame […]

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